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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2005, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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Question Portable Planers

Hi all,

I am new to woodworking, and new to this forum. I've recently acquired several new tools, including a combo base router, table saw, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I am looking at getting a planer. My father-in-law has the Ridgid TP1300, and I was fooling around with it last night. I really liked it's features, including the position of the raise/lower wheel, lock, the position of the thickness scale on the front of the machine, and the style of the depth of cut indicator. I also checked out the Dewalts, Delta and Hitachi at Lowes, and the Craftsman at Sears, but didn't like the placement of the features, nor the quality of the scales. I planed down a small piece of wood to .5" X .5", then measured, and it was right on.

Anyone have any input on this planer? I haven't been able to find much written about it, I'm assuming because Home Depot is the only one that has it.

Thanks!!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2005, 05:17 PM
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Hey there Saltysteele welcome to the forum. I have a dewalt 12 1/2" 733 model and knock on wood hasn't gave me problem very saticfied with it the model that you looked at was probably the 735 model only differances is the lower profile and 2 speeds. I looked at the sears model and wasn't inpressed with neither. The dewalt before I bought it I was checking around and pretty much all the reviews I've read gave it pretty high praise.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2005, 06:56 PM
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Welcome to the forum Saltysteel. I too have the Dewalt planner (model 735) that I just got thru putting together. I have not used it yet as my shop is still under construction and still a couple of weeks away from being in operation. I did a lot of research before purchasing it and it came highly recommend and I read comments from many woodworkers on other forums that are very happy with theirs.

I know the Ridgid name is well respected in the woodworking circle and I have their drill press and jointer. There is nothing that can speak for a tool like hands on use. If you are happy with your Father in law's machine, that may be the route to go. I say check out the Dewalt and compare features and price, then purchase the one that feels right for you.

Hang around and join the fun here on the router forum. There are so many great and helpful folks that visit here. They have sure be a big boost for me. I hope to repay by sharing my limited knowledge as much as possible when I can.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2005, 12:20 AM
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I have the same Ridgid - my only complaint is I can't buy carbide blades for it - but for the buck and their warranty I think it's a good buy - get your self a seperator - sure meets the dust and the sweeping up of chips
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2005, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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I really did like using it (even though I have never used one), it seemed to work well. I had heard that the blades dull quickly, but then I have also heard that about the Dewalts, too. Of course these observations were made by people that had just gotten the machines. I would imagine they were hogging too much off for a finish cut. I did notice that when I took off an 1/8" at a time, it would leave little "scratches" in the board, but then if I took 1/16" or 1/32", it would leave it smooth. Sometimes those reviews are left by newbies (like me), so it's like the blind leading the blind. I have been lurking here for a week or two, and appreciate the help and experience given here.

Also, thanks for the tip angus. I did notice the big pile of shavings against the wall after I had got done playing with it, and thought to myself; "Self, I'm going to emptying that shop vac a lot!"

Also angus, have you used other brands besides your ridgid? I was wondering how they stacked up. I read a review on Popularmechanic's site, and it seemed to do well. I don't really trust something written by someone who is getting paid for their reviews
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2005, 04:28 PM
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Salty, want in on a big secret? Even the lowly Delta 12" planer does a good job and is easy to use and set up. I have run many boards through my friends and decided to keep my eyes open for a used one. If you will be using the planer full time you can justify the expense of a larger model. To my way of thinking the inexpensive Delta means more money to put towards other tools to make my life easier. Oops! My common sense is showing!

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-24-2005, 04:01 AM
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Default Portable planers

Quote:
Originally Posted by saltysteele
Hi all,

I am new to woodworking, and new to this forum. I've recently acquired several new tools, including a combo base router, table saw, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I am looking at getting a planer. My father-in-law has the Ridgid TP1300, and I was fooling around with it last night. I really liked it's features, including the position of the raise/lower wheel, lock, the position of the thickness scale on the front of the machine, and the style of the depth of cut indicator. I also checked out the Dewalts, Delta and Hitachi at Lowes, and the Craftsman at Sears, but didn't like the placement of the features, nor the quality of the scales. I planed down a small piece of wood to .5" X .5", then measured, and it was right on.

Anyone have any input on this planer? I haven't been able to find much written about it, I'm assuming because Home Depot is the only one that has it.

Thanks!!
Welcome Salty. Today there are loads of portable planers out there and except for a few minor details, could all have been made by the same company. I have a knockoff brand called "trademaster" 12 1/2" and a King. They are identical down to a few minute details. Both cost me $300 cad. Both have served me well. Don't worry too much about the thickness guages because you'll have to adjust them as soon as you sharpen the blabes. Planers rule of thumb: the more horsepower the more knives. The more knives the more cuts per inch. The more cuts the smoother the board.( and of course the faster the feed) With small portable planers of this type it's the speed and feed you have to worry about. Take the time to take small bites and don't push your machine and you'll sharpen the knives less frequently and have a smoother finished product. If you will be getting into serious planing look for a model that will offer more knives like "general international","king" industrial, or the best from my perspective "leadermac" but for Leadermac your looking at serious money for serious planing. I usually get about 3000 bf to each sharpening of the blades and 4 sharpenings to a set with softer woods like spruce, pine, or poplar (aspen). Tamarack every 200 bf. No getting away from it. But the beauty of the grain makes it worth it. Good luck. Rick
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-24-2005, 05:15 PM
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Say Salty I just noticed that you asked me a question (I'm Angus or at least my Cairn Terrier is) No the Ridgid is my first, I looked at others but because of price and local availability I chose it.

At first I was disappointed, I was under the mis-conception that a planer would make my boards flat. It doesn't, it will change the thickness and make the board parallel, you need a jointer to establish a flat side first.

But in playing a bit I found that if I planed the bowed side first, and small cut 1/16 or 1/32 at a time until the bow is not as noticable, then reverse the sides, again taking small cuts, plane side A (bowed side) turn board, plane side B at same setting, turn the thickness gage 1/4 turn, plane side A turn board, plane side B, turn thickness gage 1/4 turn and repeat above, with each each pass still continue with the small cuts I actually see an improvement in flatness. (maybe it's wishful thinking or imagination) but it works for me. It takes me forever to take off 1/4 inch especially if I have a lot of boards, but heck when your old and retired time is nothing.

Now I'm sure that some of the craftsman on this forum once they clear the tears of laughter from their eyes will tell you I'm nuts, don't blame them but try it.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-05-2005, 05:37 PM
 
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Default Delta Shopmaster 12 1/2" Planer thoughts....

I'll add my $.02 here.

As aniceone2hold mentioned, you can get great results with the "lowly 12" Deltas".

This summer I picked up the Delta Shopmaster 12 1/2" planer (TP400 LS); comes with a stand and priced @ $199 USD. A local well-respected woodworking retailer told me that these planers were a terrific value/good tool. Was looking at the Dewalts, Rigid and the two-speed Delta (22-580). Basically they said take the money I would save and buy more toys/tools.

I planed about 300 (1x6') cedar fence boards (both sides) with only one small nick on one of the blades. Ended up with about 10 lawn sized garbage bags of cedar chips. My neighbor thought I was nuts when I told him I was going to plane all of the fence boards, but he sure was pleased with the results.

Been very happy with the performance of this "econo" tool so far. I have made a lot of wood chips since finishing my fence in September.

Bonus: 2 sets of knives comes with the tool. Each knife is double edged and can be flipped over/reversed.
Big Con: The nuts holding the blade are set waaaayyy too tight at the factory - stripped one of the heads while trying to loosen it. This is a common complaint from tool owners.

Dan

Last edited by Hedger; 02-05-2005 at 07:00 PM.
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